What a coincidence. Iranian strongman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently removed government subsidies on gasoline, causing prices to quadruple overnight. This week, Iran Khodro Company (IKCO), the region's largest automaker, has announced its future models will incorporate micro hybrid (ie. start/stop) and mild hybrid technology. In fact, the first 200 units of their Samand El Microhybrid X are planned to be released onto the market later this month.

The move is part of a 20-year strategic plan by IKCO that will also see their production rise from the 688,000 units it did last year to 1.5 million by 2025. It is hoped that the micro hybrids will see a ten percent reduction in fuel consumption while the upcoming changes to platforms could see savings of 20 percent. Although no all-electric models were mentioned, they did produce at least one battery-powered Samand last February.

While efficiency increases through technology are definitely welcome, one can't help but notice the effect on fuel consumption these past few weeks due it higher prices. In the few short weeks since Ahmadinejad started redistributing the money for gas subsidies to the people, the country has seen a 20 percent decline in gallons pumped.

[Source: PressTV / IKCO / Las Vegas Sun]